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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This Isn't The Alola I Thought I Knew? Never Trust A Trailer!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Be very wary of the Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon's trailers’ slick production values.

Since the announcement of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, I have used KoopaTV as one of the Internet's bastions of skepticism against the promised re-glorification (via darkness and terror) of the Alola region. I just cannot have confidence in that much change occurring in a yearly sequel.

Yes, there are a few new locations (in different universes) and brand new thematic Ultra Beasts, but do not be so easily fooled! This new trailer from The Pokémon Company International states that this is not the Alola I thought I knew, but when you have an eye for getting past fluff...

I mean, they're literally still showing footage of stuff that was in the first Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon (everyone huddled in that room listening to Professor Burnett talk in the Dimensional Research Lab). Then the rest of the trailer is just cutscenes to generic epic trailer music. Spare me. Cutscenes are not significant new gameplay developments. Stop acting like they are. Some of these will be REPLACING content from the original Alolan adventures. It's not all additive. Plus, you could make the same kind of trailer production from the cutscenes of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, and be lead to believe that the Ultra Beast involvement is much greater than it really was. That, in fact, is what happened!

I predict 80% of the base game will be the same, give or take 10%. If I'm wrong (not that I would know how to calculate that), I'll write an apology article.

Pokémon Ultra Sun Moon cutscene Guzzlord Nanu
Is Guzzlord going after Nanu before or after Guzzlord eats Hau?

“But Ludwig!” You begin to counter. “That's not a fair criticism! Why, just last week they released a new gameplay trailer that was two minutes long that KoopaTV didn't even cover! You're no better than CNN!”

How DARE YOU compare KoopaTV to that wretched outlet! You want me to talk about that trailer? Fine! But let me warn you: I don't care for it, either!

The designs for Dusk Mane Necrozma and Dawn Wings Necrozma ARE really cool, but from a gameplay perspective, how much did, say, Kyurem White and Kyurem Black change things in Pokémon White 2 and Pokémon Black 2? They'll change the competitive Ubers tier landscape a bit, but as cool as end-game legendaries are, they're just that: end-game. They won't be affecting the majority of your gameplay time. They're just cool sentient trophies.

Same with the eye-candy new Z-Moves of Searing Sunraze Smash and Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom. ...The hell are a Sunraze and a Moonraze? Half of the trailer is just showing the animations of those moves. You want to see that every time you play? Just faint the damn guy already.

The most interesting part of this trailer is the part about bonding with Rotom. That never really materialised in any significant way in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, even though we were really hyped about the Rotom Pokédex. I mean, so hyped that our E3 2016 logo was Rotomified. Nah, instead of becoming Rotom's best friend and having it be a big part of the story, we got Hau instead. Gross.

Roto Loto egg power Pokémon Ultra Sun Moon hatch faster Tauros Miltank Paniola Ranch
Paniola Ranch returns! And looks exactly the same as before.
...That, of course, is not a problem at all, since Paniola Ranch is the best part of Alola. (But it does go into my greater point.)

They hyped up the whole Alola region to be this awesome place where humans and Pokémon have closer bonds than anywhere else in the Pokémon world. How does this manifest? An Alolan version of Pokémon Amie from Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, and now an Alolan version the O-Powers from Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.

Having the same features from the previous game, but renamed, is in no way proving the Alolan theme of very close bonds between humans and Pokémon correct. That's really disappointing, because that's what I wanted the most out of the Alola games.

This isn't the Alola I thought I knew? Please. Once you apply any scrutiny to these trailers rather than just being shocked and awed by their flashy production values, then you will come to the conclusion that it is the same Alola with the same missed potential.

If Ludwig did not deem Minion Quest, an updated soundtrack, and new graphics to be enough new content to warrant purchasing a remaster of the 14-year old Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for $40, then he won't deem a slightly altered endgame and story of the 1-year old Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon to warrant a $40 purchase, either. This entire article is based on the assumption that you bought the first Alolan adventures. If you did not, then by all means, go purchase these Ultra versions in a month. Ludwig already has more than enough games to play as-is, however. Please comment your thoughts on Ludwig's analysis! Do you think that Ludwig will just write anything to be against these games? Does he have a point?

There's... a pretty good possibility that Ludwig is wrong in the article you just read, so he went ahead and apologised. 
That pretty good possibility didn't materialise, so he took his apology back. It IS the Alola that you know.


  1. I wish your website wasn't so bad.

    1. I have feeling that the person behind this anonymous comment is actually the plumber. Who else would leave such a negative comment on an article such as this?

    2. My first guess is that it was Charssie, but he doesn't write anonymous shit.

      ...Or does he? >_>

  2. They said the scenario is twice as long, so unless that was an outright lie, it can't be 80% the same story-wise, at least.

    1. It appears that the Japanese said that, in terms of quantity, there's twice as much.

      Is that measured in amount of text? Length of the campaign? What's that mean?

      I'm just saying that, if this wasn't Pokémon but Call of Duty, another series that has an annualised release schedule and changes little year-to-year BUT has a brand-new campaign, the same Nintendo fans that are going ga-ga over this substance-less trailer would be trashing Call of Duty for being the same thing every year.

    2. Whether it's length or text, they said that about the scenario, so that has to mean a lot of story content. Maybe I was just blown away by the epic trailer because I haven't played enough of Moon to see any such epic-ness yet. XD

      (And some people already criticize Pokémon for having the same gameplay and structure almost all the time.)

    3. Maybe it means these Ultra Recon Squad people talk in gigantic speeches. Who knows!
      A lot of the dialogue from the trailer and other trailers, as I mentioned in this article, is still the same.
      It appears that each trial has a different challenge to it (the volcano has a Totem Alolan Marowak now instead of a Totem Salazzle, which should actually be easier), which is fun, though it's still the same locations and probably means that part of the story — the main part — is the same. That's akin to the gym trainers/leaders/sometimes puzzles being different from the pair of two games to the third game, though, so that's not new.

      (People do criticise that, but Pokémon fans generally don't, and it's Pokémon fans who are all sparkly-eyed over the trailer.)

    4. Side note: you should add an Edit Comment feature. xD

      It would be funny if they just talked a lot. XD
      (Actually, some people are interpreting it as Sun/Moon + UltraSM = twice as much as Sun/Moon, which would make UltraSM's story about the same length.)

      Well, we'll know soon enough.

    5. Come on, you've used Blogger before. Ain't no edit comment feature.

      (That's a stupid interpretation but I also wouldn't put it past Game Freak.)

    6. Oh, right. Dx

      (It's based on different translations, I guess. Gematsu reported it as "When simply comparing the volume of the scenario, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon is about twice that of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon," but Siliconera reported it as "the addition of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon should about double the current story volume for the Sun & Moon generation." Serebii's translation matches Gematsu's.)

    7. ...yeah. >.>

      (So... those can mean very different things. I can't be excited over something so vague and nebulous like that.
      The question over ambiguous translations also came up when Kotaku was claiming that the red-hatted monster is no longer a plumber. Since then, people have been acting like Nintendo wrote a press release about it or something, which never happened. It's all FAKE NEWS.)


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